There has been much speculation that UK Prime Minister Theresa May would call a May general Election. With May being the sitting PM and May being the month, this would effectively have been the first “May May” election.
May is a popular month for general elections in the UK. With the Conservative Party leading opinion polls by a massive gap (19%) over the main opposition Labour Party, the Conservatives could easily have increased their majority in Parliament making it easier to pass legislation, including laws connected to the Brexit process.
But, instead of taking an easy victory over Labour, May has declared there will be no early election, and that the government will concentrate on the Brexit process, which is expected to take two years. The implication of this is that the next UK election will be in 2020.
The most senior Conservative figure to call publicly for an early election, Lord Hague wrote:
“We have a new Prime Minister and Cabinet facing the most complex challenges of modern times: Brexit negotiations, the Trump administration, the threat from Scottish nationalists, and many other issues. There is no doubt that they would be in a stronger position to take the country through these challenges successfully if they had a large and decisive majority in the Commons and a new full term ahead of them.”
The official reason for May’s decision is that she thinks it would be “self-serving,” which is OBVIOUS BULLSHIT, unless we think that Theresa May is actually Mother Theresa of Calcutta. So there must be another reason.
Two possibilities suggest themselves:
(1) Party political advantage. She thinks that delaying the General Election will allow Labour to implode more. An early election, resulting in a Labour defeat, would probably see a change in Labour leadership. Like many Tories, she is worried that Labour would then elect somebody more competent and popular with the voters than the present leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Actually, Labour are more likely to pick someone even worse, like Diane Abbot.
Another possibility on this front is that a defeat for Labour in May would see the party collapse and lead to another party becoming the main opposition party. As UKIP are still a mess, this would probably be the Liberal Democrats, who are better positioned ideologically to contest the centre of British politics. This, however, is an arcane reason and unlikely to be the reason.
(2) Sabotaging Brexit. It should never be forgotten which side of the Brexit debate May took. Of course she supported “Remain,” so all her actions should be viewed with that in mind.
To have a majority in the UK House of Commons, you need 326 seats. The Conservative Party have 330, a mere majority of four. This makes it extremely easy for anti-Brexit MPs in the House of Commons to challenge Brexit legislation and slow down the process. By not having a General Election when she could easily increase her party’s majority, she is in fact choosing to maintain a wafer thin majority which could lead to roadblocks in the Brexit process.
This too does not seem entirely plausible, but it seems a lot more likely than the idea that a mainstream politician is not self-serving.